SportSoccer

Three Man Utd stars edge closer to a first team return

Young comes through under-21 test
Young comes through under-21 test

Manchester United received good news on the injury front on Monday as Luke Shaw returned to training while Phil Jones and Ashley Young started a fixture for the under-21s at Old Trafford.

Full-back Shaw, 20, was back out on the grass with a United physio for the first time since suffering a double fracture in his leg last September in a Champions League tie at PSV Eindhoven.

Fellow England caps Jones and Young then featured in Warren Joyce's XI for the Under-21 Premier League clash with Chelsea, though Wayne Rooney was not ready to make his comeback in a 1-1 draw for which Louis van Gaal, Ryan Giggs and Sir Bobby Charlton were all in attendance.

Shaw's appearance back on the pitch was confirmed by United team-mate Juan Mata, who uploaded a picture of the pair on Instagram:

 

My friend @lukeshaw23 just came in from running out on the pitch! Getting closer 💪🏻💪🏻 🔴🔴

A photo posted by Juan Mata (@juanmatagarcia) on

Three days ago United boss Van Gaal revealed Shaw would return to training this week, though he also suggested it was unlikely he would feature again before a campaign that could conclude with an FA Cup final at Wembley on May 21.

While Shaw's senior return may be a little way off yet, Rooney, Jones and Young are likely to bolster Van Gaal's options for the final fixtures of the campaign.

Skipper Rooney has been out since mid-February because of a knee injury of his own and Van Gaal had insisted he would "probably play" an under-21s game prior to his comeback for the senior team.

However, his name was not on a team-sheet that included returning pair Jones and Young on Monday night alongside fringe first-team players like Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Guillermo Varela and Paddy McNair.

Jones, who last played a senior game against Swansea on January 2, came through 76 minutes at centre-back while Young, an unused substitute against Everton on Sunday, looked far closer to full fitness as he completed the game playing up front.

Kasey Palmer's free-kick had given Chelsea a first-half lead before James Weir equalised in the second period.